The conference is an initiative of Hands On! International Association of Children in Museums, an international network of professionals dedicated to improving the quality and accessibility of museums for children worldwide. Previous editions have taken place in Stockholm, Paris and Ljubljana. The Rijksmuseum and the Jewish Historical Museum are the main organizers of this conference.
During the conference over 300 participants from over 25 countries on every continent will explore developments in the field of children’s education in museums. Hands On! aims to provide an international platform for the exchange of knowledge between museum professionals. Hands On! believes that children’s museums, museums and science centres are places where the curiosity, creativity and imagination of children is stimulated. These places offer an important addition to what a child can experience and learn in formal education or at home. This is why Hands On! aims to put children’s education on the agenda of governments and museums where it is not already.
The theme of the conference in 2015 is Touch and Learn. Participants will engage with important questions such as: How can museums in the 21st century touch the hearts and minds of children? How can hands-on, sensory experiences enhance children’s education in museums? In what ways can museums encourage imagination, creativity and lifelong learning in children? Over four days participants will be inspired by a programme of keynote speakers, workshops and exclusive visits to the best children’s museums, museums and science centres in the Netherlands. The Children in Museums Awards will also be presented during the conference to the best exhibition or project for children worldwide.